#SciFund Challenge Class
Part 3: Getting Started with the Software
Exercise 2: Practicing with Illustrator and Inkscape
We lay out here how to get going with Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape. As we mentioned earlier, either software package is a great choice. Follow along with the Illustrator/Inkscape video tutorials and complete the challenges:
- Set up your poster document.
- Draw a rectangle
- Draw a circle
- Type some text
- Set up a grid
- Align text to the center of the circle
- Align the left edge of the rectangle to the text.
- Optional: Try to complete one Illustrator/Inkscape tutorial from the provided resource list.
Getting Started with Adobe Illustrator
It is time to dive into Adobe Illustrator. At first glance it can be an intimidating and overly complicated piece of software, but in time your comfort level will grow and you will understand its power.
Illustrator is a vector graphics editor, which means that graphics created in Illustrator will scale with no loss in resolution. It is great for poster design because you will have an unprecedented level of control over your document. There are several versions of Illustrator, all of which still work well. Most of our instructions are based upon version CS6. However, while there are changes between recent versions, the core functions and layout have remained largely the same.
Over the course of this guide, we will teach you some key features of Illustrator and provide you with a lot of resources that will develop your skill. For now, we'll get you going with the basics. Take a look at our video tutorial to get up to speed.
Optional Illustrator resources
Here are a few resources that give you more in-depth knowledge, if you want to get a little extra practice with Illustrator.
- Illustrator Hotkeys – you will definitely want to get familiar with a few of these, as it will cut down a lot of time you spend looking for functions.
- Basic Tutorials – You can google search Illustrator tutorials for any version of Illustrator out there. Even older tutorials are useful learning tools because basic layout hasn’t changed much since Creative Suite 3 (the name for the entire Adobe design suite). But try to find tutorials that use your version for seamless education. Many tutorials have a design goal in mind (for instance make a vector-based Kermit the Frog), but they are all great ways to learn Illustrator functions and uses.
- Try this tutorial to make a simple icon to learn about basic shape creation.
- Here is a very comprehensive series of tutorials that work you up to a complex design.
- Here is a compilation of tutorials that walk you through several different designs.
Getting Started with Inkscape
It is time to dive into Inkscape. At first glance it can be an intimidating and overly complicated piece of software, but in time your comfort level will grow and you will understand its power. Over the course of this guide, we will teach you some key features of Inkscape and provide you with a lot of resources that will develop your skill. For now though, let's get you through the basics with some video tutorials.
Step 1: Create your artboard
Step 2: Create some text
Step 3: Make some simple shapes
Step 4: Align your objects
And you’re done! Keep playing with the Inkscape feature set to make these tasks second nature. If you’d like to go deeper into Inkscape, the Inkscape developers have created a handy tutorial list, which you can read here.